good chemistry is complicated,
and a little bit messy -LW
Based on the advice above, here are some updates:
(1) I've loaded Eclipse and the Perl editor plug-in, and I've gotten it to work. It's given me a lovely list of modules and subroutines.
(2) We are on Sybase 12, Apache for the Unix box web server (I think - see (6) below), the reports are generated on the internet, and the reports present financial info (i.e., balance sheet, income statement).
(3) I've ordered some books that should be here this week (Debugging Pearl, the cheetah book) using my own funds. I work for the State, and we have NO money right now (they've actually starting laying off folks recently).
(4) The DBI module is not currently being used but I think there's a connection established using the Sybase::CTLib module.
(5) I am not the IT/DBA; I'm a reporting specialist who develops financial reports for our campus community.
(6) If I understood correctly, I can set up my desktop to run scripts. I currently FTP the edited text file to the Unix server, and then open a browser and type in my URL. This is not a difficult process, but it can be annoying at times. Confession: I'm not sure how all this stuff works together (i.e., the web server versus the Unix server versus the database server (BUT I will look this up on my own later today). I also plan to download Apache to my PC once I confirm that our Unix box uses that for its web server.
(8) I have learned (painfully through experience) how vital version control is, so... 'nuff said on that.
(a) What is the difference among the following: module, function, subroutine, script? I'd like to make sure I'm using the right terms (and understanding some of the advice given). CombatSquirrel mentioned creating some modules to help organize things. Is it best practice to have multiple "files", or have this similar-report generator all in one file? I'd appreciate advice on this. The main menu will have 7 reports, with a spot for input and a drop-down to select an accounting period. The reports will pull similar data and have a similar look, but there are differences among them.
(b) Is there any way to pull a list of variables used within a file/script/program? The Eclipse editor does a nice job of finding the subroutines and modules, but I haven't found a way to pull variables (I'd like to understand where these variables are initialized, how used, etc.).
Whew! Enough for now. I'm going to have to pitch a tent to block the evil fluorescent lights...
Thanks for all for the input and advice! Lori